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40,000 HackerNews book recommendations identified using NLP and deep learning

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fortythirteenonJan 9, 2018

That's the premise of one of my favorite, underrated SciFi books, Everyone in Silico[0]. It's also part of the premise of Ready Player One[1].

[0] https://www.amazon.com/Everyone-Silico-Jim-Munroe-2002-11-22...

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Ready-Player-One-Ernest-Cline/dp/0307...

FajitaNachosonDec 22, 2016

I also read Ready Player One this year and thought it was excellent. Since then I've been searching for more books that pull me in like that one did. Way of Kings is pretty good so far.

avimeironFeb 17, 2013

Sounds like the world described in the book Ready Player One. Awesome read BTW.

patrickdaveyonMay 8, 2014

Ready Player One - what a totally fantastic book. One of my absolute favourites!

trapperkeeper79onDec 6, 2016

I agree. I've been impressed by his selection in previous years. This year seems drab with the exception of The Grid. Also, doesn't he read fiction? My fav book of the year was Ready Player One :)

digitalengineeronApr 5, 2017

I am surprised no-one mentioned "Ready Player One" yet. It is a NY Times best seller and Steven Spielberg is set to direct it in 2018. Great book, often referred to as a NERDGASM ;-) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/books/ready-player-one-by-...

SirHoundonAug 7, 2017

Ready Player One:

> This is easily in one of my top 5 favorite books I've ever read. It's SO fun to read, and every single person I've recommended it to has loved it.

Good litmus test for the list.

mentosonNov 1, 2017

Anyone read the book 'Ready Player One' ?

Stumbled across this piece that was inspired by it https://poly.google.com/view/9M6BxvotJoD

very cool

salukionJan 16, 2018

I just finished Ready Player One, it was a great read, super interesting story, If you like the 80s and Arcade Games it's a must read.

mkolodnyonMar 29, 2020

It's one of my favorite books. Totally explains why Facebook would buy Oculus for $2 Billion. Ready Player One shows virtual reality's potential to infinitely expand our world. It's also just a really fun book with a ton of interesting pop culture references.

kriroonJan 28, 2014

It's the videogame that reminds me most of "Ready Player One" which is a pretty fun read.

One of my life goals is to do some studies on EVE (most likely economics). I'll convince someone it's a good idea eventually :)

Edit: Maybe do a study on terror cells and get military funding :P

TheAceOfHeartsonSep 1, 2018

If we're talking about Wil Wheaton I'll also suggest giving Ready Player One a try. It's a short but very enjoyable book and Wil does a great job at bringing it to life.

kevindeasisonDec 21, 2017

I've read over 100 books this year, but mostly non-fiction.
I'm kinda surprised that my favourite book ended up being a fiction book, which is:
'Ready Player One'

gnulinuxonSep 12, 2018

> I love Easter eggs like this one!

Have you read Ready Player One?

Mountain_SkiesonAug 29, 2019

He was very good at narrating his autobiography. Also liked his reading of Ready Player One but other than those two books, he does tend to be a bad choice for narration. Comparing the Amber Benson reading of Lock In to the Wheaton reading makes this even more obvious.

psyconFeb 4, 2017

Permutation City. Immediately before that, I had read Ready Player One, and felt I needed something rich in nutrients to balance out the refined sugar high.

pawnonDec 28, 2013

I'll 2nd Ready Player One as a great book. It and The Sentinels by James Layton were my two favorite reads this year.

CloakedAshonJan 19, 2013

I would also suggest reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. With people talking about not being able to take the goggles off this could be where we are headed.

darrennixonOct 2, 2014

Just finished:
Ready Player One and
The Riftwar Saga (both very enjoyable)

Reading: Predictably Irrational (more substance than most business books I've read)

rejschaaponSep 1, 2018

Wil Wheaton did quite a few good audiobooks. I also liked "What If?" and "Ready Player One". Even though I normally prefer to read a book myself.

WereBooksonDec 22, 2016

SO many! But some notables were Lincoln Farish's 'Vampire of Rome' and Ernest Cline's 'Ready Player One'

icolomaonDec 26, 2012

I can confirm that Pattern Recognition is (in my memory) even better than Ready Player One, which is also an amazing book. Thanks for the others, didn't know about them.

gordon_freemanonSep 27, 2019

This is right out of the premise of the book "Ready Player One" that has a similar virtual world called OASIS. Mark Zuckerberg is a huge fan of the book in general and It just seems Oculus is trying to create a similar world with Horizon launch.

joshstrangeonMay 17, 2015

I'm currently re-reading Ready Player One and all I can think about is the Oasis and Haptic Suits... Looks pretty interesting but I think that delivery window looks a little too optimistic...

iKenshuonDec 24, 2016

I read 'Ready player one' and I really enjoy it.

Right now I am reading 'Seveneves' recommendend by Bill Gates.

obiefernandezonOct 12, 2017

This stuff is compelling, especially after having recently read Ready Player One. However, how do you type? There's all this talk of how this tech is great for programmers, with tons more screen space, etc... but unless I just missed it somehow, don't see where a normal keyboard fits into the picture.

Taylor_ODonNov 9, 2015

I read The Martian, Snow Crash, and Ready Player One over the course of a month or two. All three of those books have their flaws but I enjoy the style and page turning nature of them a lot.

aerovistaeonDec 16, 2019

I wouldn't bother with Ready Player One, which is an unrewarding story mostly written as an effort by the author to collect every bit of his 80s nostalgia in one place.

Instead I would suggest Speaker For The Dead, the sequel to Ender's Game and a remarkable novel.

robertskmilesonApr 1, 2013

By the way, Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One is great fun, and you should read it.

test6554onAug 5, 2021

Star Wars Thrawn Trilogy

Battlefield Earth (the book, definitely not the movie)

The Land: Founding - Aleron Kong

Steel World - B.V. Larson

Ready Player One / Ready Player Two - Ernest Cline

Twinborn Chronicles - J.S. Morin

The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss

pavlovonSep 18, 2020

It's a reference to a VR environment in the sci-fi novel "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline.

physicsyogionSep 3, 2019

I recently finished reading The Overstory. I thought it was pretty interesting. It got me interested in video game programming (as did reading Ready Player One).

grub5000onOct 12, 2014

You should read "Ready Player One" if you haven't already. The VR in the book is called Oasis. It might give you some ideas to go with yours:


Best of luck, man.

chatmastaonOct 4, 2017

I highly recommend anyone interested in this era, with an eye toward the future, read Ready Player One. Amazing book you won't be able to put down.

tmalyonJan 24, 2017

I am not really sure what this is.

The first thing that popped in my mind was the contest from the book Ready Player One

pinewurstonJuly 13, 2017

The Intuitionist, by Colson Whitehead

Soon I Will Be Invincible, by Austin Grossman

and if you haven't read it already,
Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

sicularsonApr 14, 2016

Who's read "Ready Player One"? Cause that's all I'm seeing here. Also, can't wait for the movie!

waffleguyonMar 17, 2019

I think someone just saw/read Pirates of Silicon Valley or Ready Player One

conorgil145onJan 17, 2018

Ready Player One is a super fun read and they are making it into a movie too!


tmalyonOct 9, 2017

I just thought of the trailer parks from the Ready Player One book after reading your comment.

a_t48onJan 2, 2020

For a second I thought this was a similar book who's name I've been trying to remember. Like Daemon and Ready Player One, but with some magic sword instead. Dang.

nikk1onJuly 2, 2019

You have every right to enjoy this book. But for anyone who has read Ready Player One and absolutely hated it as much as I did, there is a hilarious podcast called 372 Pages We'll Never Get Back (from the guys of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax) that mocks the book chapter-by-chapter.

DowwieonNov 1, 2016

If you are going to read one sci-fi book this year, read "Ready Player One" or "The Martian". Don't waste your hours on Cixin Liu. :)

lnanek2onOct 27, 2012

Reminds me of a book I just read, Ready Player One:

The entire thing is like references to stuff like this, heh.

applecrazyonNov 3, 2017

It reminds me more of Ready Player One, a book in which society has deteriorated to the point where the only escape is a VR world.

The book briefly explores the implications of this, including how the hierarchy of human needs is met in a VR-centric society.

hypertextheroonOct 5, 2014

Reminds me of [Ready Player One][rp1] by Ernest Kline.

[rp1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ready_Player_One

djsumdogonJuly 26, 2019

Have you read Ready Player One?

kevinSuttleonJan 13, 2017

Just finished reading Ready Player One, and have never put on a VR unit. This post is timely. I can see having a very similar reaction.

charlieparkonDec 25, 2012

Ready Player One was the best book I read this year, and the best in recent memory. My wife — who isn't into video games or much of 80's culture — loved it as well.

AJay17onJan 18, 2013

Ogden and Halliday are both names from the book Ready Player One (http://goo.gl/f3OUa). Is this just a coincidence?

bkanberonSep 28, 2015

Tangentially, Ernest Cline's "Ready Player One" explores a future where a universe-sized virtual world is pervasive in society because everything in the real world has fallen to hell. Not the best literature out there, but entertaining and apropos to the discussion.

ap22213onMar 26, 2014

It's like Zuckerburg read "Ready Player One"

onion2konMar 6, 2017

I've recently finished Ready Player One by Ernest Cline which is an enjoyably nostalgic novel based on computer games and 80s trivia.

nothingpersonalonDec 23, 2015

Do audio books count? If so my favorites from this year would be Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson, and Armada by Ernest Cline.

Books I actually read which were good:
The Informationist by Taylor Stevens
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

jleesonDec 25, 2012

I wouldn't class Ready Player One as the best book of 2012, but it was certainly enjoyable (when I read it in 2011). I prefer This Is Not A Game and Pattern Recognition in this genre; also worth checking out is Tad Williams' Otherland series.

BiltersonJuly 27, 2020

Some suggstions on my end would be:
Ready player one - Ernest Cline
Mistborn trilogy - Brandon Sanderson
A short history of nearly everything - Bill Bryson
Dune - Frank Herbert

CobrastanJorjionApr 16, 2018

> just look at the tiny house movement. Just imagine how much cheaper it would be if something like that was built but stackable.

Say, did you ever read or see "Ready Player One"?

nemesisrobotonJan 27, 2015

The first time I'd heard of hikikomori was in Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

jbogganonNov 20, 2014

I read Ready Player One first and found it really compelling and interesting, I highly recommend it. Then I picked up Snow Crash and found it too preposterous in its delivery, physics, and libertarian social narrative to make it more than a few chapters - and I'm someone who loves reading Heinlein.

nyteskyonApr 28, 2019

I was thinking of Ready Player One, and how it’s reading really was part of the experience. Did you mean to bury the lede that it’s read by none other than Wil Wheaton?

MattBearmanonDec 24, 2011

'Ready Player One' by Ernest Cline

Outstanding sci-fi, and his first book. Can't wait for his next work.

digitalengineeronMar 26, 2014

Think of education. Right now there is a great demand for video-courses. We have people looking at medium res video's and teatchers explaning and answering questions via email or skyper-sessions. Should 3D work as in Ready Player One (loved the book), why not sign in online in a 3D classroom? Or login to a pre-recorded 3D session? Make notes, highlight

WheelsAtLargeonJuly 22, 2017

Question: What do people find appealing about Ready Player One? I'm a child of the eighties yet I had trouble getting through the first few chapters so I stopped. Something I rarely do since I find it hard to stop reading a book once I start. What am I missing?

compumikeonJuly 27, 2016

Just finished "Ready Player One" yesterday. Fun read! Would recommend.

banderononJuly 28, 2016

After reading "Ready Player One", I've been hoping for haptic gloves to be a reality. These aren't quite there yet, but I like that there is something out there. Is anybody aware of other haptic tech out there that will enhance VR?

randycupertinoonJan 11, 2016

14 by Peter Clines is my all time favorite, I also love anything narrated by Ray Porter, he's the best narrator. The Power of the Dog is a great one about the Mexican drug cartels, very gripping. Ready Player One is a classic. Rob Lowe's autobiography Stories I only Tell my Friends was surprisingly good!

Heft by Liz Moore was a sneaky fantastic listen, great character development and compelling story.

adroitbossonDec 12, 2018

Books Read:
Never Split the difference by Chris Voss (FLIPPING AMAZING! This book is so good I didn't want to share it here.)

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
(Fantastic Look into how we as humans work and how to deal with each other and ourselves)

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
(Enjoyable and entertaining)

The Martian by Andy Weir
(The Audiobook of this was AMAZING! The book is still amazing especially for technical people)

The Hard thing about Hard things by Ben Horowitz
(I think it would be a great book for people who are already running companies.)

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
(It had some interesting parts. Wasn't a bad book, but also not crazy memorable)

Boundaries in Dating by Henry Cloud
(I found the advice for the christian dating relationship to be a honest eye opener. This book taught me a lot about myself.)

The Launch Pad by Randall Stross
(How I found Y Combinator and Hacker news. I really enjoy the startup community and love the fact that this introduced me to it)

The richest man in Babylon by George S Clason
(OMG EVERYONE SHOULD OWN THIS BOOK!!! It teaches you about handling money in one of the most entertaining ways I've ever read. It was crazy good and I reread it often.)

Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull

(Great read about the interesting problems solved and the fight for survival to one day bring about a worthy ideal)

brycethorntononJan 13, 2017

I've been reading "Ready Player One" over the past few weeks and it's description of a VR-filled future is blowing my mind. It's really a great look into the possibilities for VR in the next 30 years. Highly recommended!

tartuffe78onJan 7, 2019

Yea, the book "Ready Player One" really made me feel queasy about the effects it could have on our lives. Already I see it, myself and other people escaping into Farming/Business/Life simulating games to simulate the success we might not find in the real world.

bookofjoeonMar 24, 2019

From https://www.inc.com/yazin-akkawi/what-science-fiction-has-ta...

"Shortly thereafter, in 1992, just as Berners-Lee's World Wide Web had come to fruition, Neal Stephenson was inspired by the recent invention, which led to him publishing Snow Crash, a science-fiction novel that illustrated much of today's online life, including a virtual reality where people meet, do business, and play.

Even today, many of today's greatest innovators reference Snow Crash as inspiration for their work. Google co-founder Sergey Brin named the book as one of his favorite novels. Google Earth designer Avi Bar-Zeev has said he was inspired by Stephenson's ideas. At Facebook, the book, alongside Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, is also given to anyone who starts a job at the virtual-reality company Oculus.

What's funny, Stephenson, who is now the Chief Futurist at the VR startup Magic Leap, told Vanity Fair that he was just "making shit up" when he wrote the novel.

rschmittyonApr 2, 2013

This makes me want to read Ready Player One all over again and make a retro game, fun post, thanks!

eddotmanonJuly 29, 2014

Love the creativity in this - reminds me of the book Ready Player One, except with less 80s references and much harder (well, in some sense) puzzles.

jimmahoneyonFeb 4, 2017

Ready Player One.

Though the recent second time was as an audio book on a long car trip.

gavanwooleryonJune 10, 2016

That is actually a really great point.

Its like hiring a writer based on their grammar. A writer could have perfect grammar but their books are boring as hell.

Or even hiring a writer for adhering to the techniques of connoisseurs. The book "Ready Player One" was heavily criticized as amateur work (it was, after all, the author's very first book), but it nonetheless was hugely successful (and even has a movie in the making).

lucb1eonApr 27, 2019

I agree, a well-read book can really make it. A bad reader not only makes a good book boring, it also works conversely. For example, Ready Player One was a mediocre movie, an alright book, and the audio book was really great (i.e. I also enjoyed the story itself much more because of the telling).

If you just want to read books without the effort of reading, and have "audio books" be cheap, text to speech is totally there. You'll miss some intonation, but modern speech engines are beyond understandable. If it would be just about understandability, try espeak (apt install espeak). An absolutely awful voice, but copy any decently sized text (maybe a pg essay) and listen to it. I find that after 30 seconds to a minute, I've adjusted enough to perfectly understand it, and after 4+ minutes I forget that I'm listening to the most horrendous voice known to mankind. And if you want to nerd out some more about our brain's capacity to understand speech and adapt to things that don't even resemble speech anymore, try whistling languages. I'm always amazed how understandable they can be.

brotchieonDec 13, 2013

I make note of the books I read in 1-2 sittings because I can't put them down. This year these were:

    Five Billion Years of Solitude - Lee Billings
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
Grand Ambition: An Extraordinary Yacht, the People Who Built It, and the Millionaire Who Can't Really Afford It - G. Bruce Knecht

searineonJan 4, 2016

Oh boy, you fucked up now. Here are the books I read this past year that I felt were "Good", starting from the most recent :

To Kill A Mocking Bird (Insanely good)

True Grit (Insanely good)

The Little Friend (Good)

Priceless (Very good, about art theft)

The Secret History (Insanely good)

Ready Player One (Good, nerdy)

Shadow Divers (Very good, history nerd book)

Diary of Anne Frank (Very good)

Unbroken (Very good, way better than the movie)

With The Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa (Very good)

Seveneves (good, but I'm a Stephenson fanboy)

The Martian (Very good, but just watch the movie).

I read a bunch of other stuff, but that's what I found really "good" this past year.

jaymononJune 30, 2014

I started The Martian by Andy Weir about 3 days ago and I'm really enjoying it. It's a really entertaining book that I highly recommend!

Last week I finished The Paradox of Choice and Zero Day. I enjoyed both of them, although I don't think I'll be reading any of the sequels to Zero Day.

Before that I went through The Maze Runner trilogy, those were entertaining reads.

Some other books I've read recently that I can remember off the top of my head are the Divergent series of books (eh), How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton Christensen (great read), Ready Player One (loved, loved, loved this book), Starters (didn't bother reading any more in the series) and Moon walking With Einstein (I enjoyed it).

rayalezonJuly 13, 2018

I rarely read fiction. I'd love to read something great, but I have harder time finding it and getting into it.

Harry Potter and The Methods of Rationality is the best fiction I've ever read, and am actually rereading now, so that's one.

I absolutely love everything written by Alexander Wales, The Martian by Andy Weir, and a lot of stuff from /r/rational. Also I think that Atlas Shrugged and everything written by Ayn Rand is brilliant.

I've read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson not so long ago, they were pretty fun, but I wasn't blown away or anything.

Aside from that, I don't know many great ones, so I mostly read non-fiction.

tpmxonOct 9, 2020

Ready Player One was competently directed by freaking Steven Spielberg with a "$155–175 million" budget and still sorta disappointed lots of us who had read the book.

Perhaps some awesome scifi books are just better left to the imagination?

Edit: I felt the same after watching "Ender's Game" (2013).

Edit 2: I felt that the TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman's "Good Omens" featuring David Tennant and Michael Sheen was absolutely brilliant. I hadn't gotten around to reading the book yet though...

lolptdronJuly 27, 2016

I think it depends. I take months to finish a book casually, but when a true page-turned like "Ready Player One" pops up, I blazed through it in days. I think there's a need for active reader engagement, where there is incentive ("It's going to be a movie directed by Steven Spielberg and music composed by John Williams!") to enjoy the fruits of being cool before it becomes cool.

amazing_joseonApr 9, 2015

I usually read more than book at once.

«Ready Player One», Ernest Cline -- Because all my friends read it and I've to.

«What is to go to war», Karl Marlantes -- After learning about it in a podcast, very interesting.

«Los enemigos del comercio, II», Escohotado -- Slowing progressing through it, full of footnotes and amazing stories about all the attempts of communism and socialism. Nearly clinical dissection of the original texts and sources.

«The windup girl», Paolo Bacigalupi -- Harsh, hot, cruel, realistic and futuristic. I'm enjoying it a lot.

code_WhispereronMay 30, 2017

Some choice fiction:

Daemon, by Daniel Suarez

Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson

Gold Bug Variations, by Richard Powers

Galatea 2.2, by Richard Powers

Off to Be the Wizard, by Scott Meyer

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

Neuromancer, by William Gibson

The Adolescence Of P-1, by Thomas J. Ryan (from when I was just a kid)

winkonDec 19, 2017

1. Off to Be the Wizard (Scott Meyer) - Very good.

2. Ready Player One (Ernest Cline) - I liked it although it's kinda ridiculous and one-sided.

3. The Bloodline Feud (Charles Stross) - Actually part 1&2 of a series. Really need to continue, very good. I'd say this was not "oh I know what will happen next" which is kinda rare.

4. The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman) - It's ok, but not as good as I had hoped.

5. Coraline (Neil Gaiman) - It's a children's book, and very short, but I liked it a lot.

6. Accelerated C++ (Koening/Moo) - Not finished, I was under the impression it's "C++ for programmers well-versed in other languages" and for that it's a bit slow-starting, but not bad I guess

I really need to read more. :|

YhippaonJuly 27, 2016

Just curious, what's everybody's pace around here? It took me about a month to casually get through "Ready Player One" (great book BTW), and that was for a book club. It seems like a lot of the people I respect get through about a book a week. Either they're lying or have such good focus to avoid distractions other than books. Maybe I could put down the HN for a bit.

ConceptJunkieonJan 13, 2018

Yeah, both these books are very fun, with enough hard science to be believable, but still very accessible. My only disappointment with the Bob books was that they ended.

"Ready Player One" was full of naked eighties nostalgia fan service, but that suits me just fine. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Wil Wheaton (speaking of eighties nostalgia...), and he's a great reader who brought real enthusiasm to his reading. Given that Spielberg is at the helm, the movie should be awesome.

UrgoonDec 25, 2012

I read a number of good books but hands down my favorite that I read in 2012 was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

This is from Amazon:
At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

BalgaironMar 29, 2020

Though not my life per se, I find the fiction in the USMC's reading list to be very .. interesting. It's a strange mix of more popular titles and super niche books. It's all focused on war-fighting, but it gives a great look into the Marines:


STARSHIP TROOPERS by Robert A. Heinlein

ENDER'S GAME by Orson Scott Card

READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline



The whole 2019 reading list is great stuff, top notch reading for any hacker or c-suite, especially the discussion guides: https://grc-usmcu.libguides.com/usmc-reading-list/discussion...

stevekemponJuly 20, 2020

The reason it feels like spam is because the summaries look like they were scraped from Amazon/similar.

There's no discussion about the books. Instead it is filler-content:

      "Full of high stakes, thrillers, and fantastic twists and turns, fans of Ready Player One are sure to love this addictive read." --BuzzFeed"A potent commentary on how much we're willing to give up to the lure of technology." --EW "A fantastic journey from start to finish." --Hypable New York Times bestselling authors Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller ...

That tells me nothing about the plot. The world. Why it is related to Ready Player One. It even mentions that book in the information - almost like there is no effort behind it, and just random books pulled from other sites with no care, no attention, no real link at all.

(i.e. scraping and pattern matching. Not real curation.)

niclupienonMar 1, 2016

I find anything cyberpunk very good "near-future" literature. Currently reading "Ready Player One" (Ernest Cline) and watching Caprica which are both about AIs and VR. Seeing much VR (ex: HoloLens) on HN frontpage lately adds to the fun of it. If it's your kind of stuff, you can try this list from GoodReads https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/487.Best_of_Cyberpunk

FLUX-YOUonJan 21, 2018

>The worlds and experiences are reminiscent of Stephenson's Snow Crash or Cline's Ready Player One in so many ways. It's eery, fascinating, and altogether odd.

It looks more like VR Idiocracy to me. Especially if you check out twitch and see donation stuff and stream overlays. It's just a platform for vomiting memes. https://imgur.com/ZkJq1cr

On the other hand, if it were super-serious-Deus-Ex-plotting-the-control-of-the-proletariat-VR-Chat, I don't think I could take that seriously either (and would be quickly overrun with Uganda knuckles anyway).

ImprovotteronJuly 2, 2019

Why everyone is recommending even more work for on your summer leave is beyond me. I'd personally recommend Ready Player One, perhaps use an audiobook (I love them). I personally listened to the one voiced by Wil Wheaton and it was fantastically done. Definitely recommended! It is a lot better than the movie in case you're wondering.

blinkdaddyonFeb 26, 2014

I too just finished Ready Player One. Such a great read. I tend to lean on Good Reads lately for recommendations. But picked up Atopia Chronicles (http://amzn.com/B00DUK1RKY) after browsing popular sci-fi on amazon's best-sellers list. It has great similarities to Ready Player One - virtual presences, future VR challenges, etc. but a very different kind of book (split into multiple story lines, not one continuous story). But that said, if you've not read Snow Crash then drop everything and read that next!

vertisonSep 27, 2019

At OC1 (possibly OC2, my memory is a bit vague) they handed out copies Ernest Clines' book Ready Player One. It was pretty clear this was the direction they were going to head, even if they seem to be blissfully unaware that they're closer to the antagonists in the story (IOI) than Gregarious Simulation Systems.

Note: I have nothing specific against Facebook

npsimonsonAug 14, 2017

> mediocre fanfiction

I think you might be giving Cline too much credit. I've read much better fanfiction than "Ready Player One". Even the bad fanfiction chock-a-block full of nostalgiac references doesn't stop to explain it's references every other page. I literally hate-read through RPO on a transatlantic flight because the screen for my seat was broken and I had nothing better to do.

ETA another excellent review: http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/ready-player-one-finds-the-...

TRcontrarianonJuly 23, 2021

The founding text is Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (1992). It's short, funny, entertaining, and full of new ideas in a freewheeling early 90's spirit. The list in the comment you are replying to is not bad, since most interactions you will ever have with someone about a metaverse will hinge on shared descriptions you have with them of a metaverse, so whichever books you hear about the most are by definition the most useful ones to read.

Almost everyone has read or heard of Ready Player One (2011), which contains extensive descriptions of its own corporate dystopic metaverse, albeit one that I find insufferably cliche and unoriginal.

Metaverse descriptions are descended from the first cyberspace descriptions in Neuromancer (1984) which is a beautiful book worth a read.

PaninoonNov 5, 2017

  * Johnny Got His Gun, by Dalton Trumbo. Powerful anti-war story.
* Vagabonding, by Rolf Potts. Shaped my views on hard work and travel.
* 1984, by George Orwell. Brilliant and terrifying.
* The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. Overcoming mental pain through consciousness.
* Planetwalker, by John Francis. Inspired me to walk and put myself into things more.
* Pure enjoyment: Snow Crash (Neal Stephenson), Ready Player One (Ernest Cline), Watchmen (Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons), Red Rising trilogy (Pierce Brown).

Honorable mention: The Water Knife (Paolo Bacigalupi).

ericjangonAug 11, 2021

The title and content of the article, in which Hanke espouses the virtues if Niantic Labs (an AR company), were cognitively dissonant for me.

> The concept reached one of its most complete expressions in Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, where virtually everyone has abandoned reality for an elaborate VR massively multiplayer video game. A lot of people these days seem very interested in bringing this near-future vision of a virtual world to life, including some of the biggest names in technology and gaming. But in fact these novels served as warnings about a dystopian future of technology gone wrong. As a society, we can hope that the world doesn’t devolve into the kind of place that drives sci-fi heroes to escape into a virtual one

I'm trying to understand what Hanke is really saying. Is he saying that VR sucks, and AR, specifically AR that encourages people to interact with the real physical world, is where its at? I assume by "biggest names in technology and gaming" he is referring to Niantic's competitors? Specifically what about those bets does he disagree with?

howlingfantodsonMar 20, 2018

Perhaps irrelevant to Wodehouse (who writes farce), but I'm a big fan of 'frivolous, empty, and perfectly delightful' popular sci-fi and fantasy novels, especially if they go multiple books! Sometimes you want an escape from the human condition. Good examples include Mistborn, Farseer, Belgariad (especially), the Martian, Ready Player One (although this was a bit shallow, even for me).

If anyone has other recommendations, would be much obliged.

RegardsyjconMay 5, 2018

I feel like when chatbot technology can be used with voice, it could be a gamechanger. Sort of like when you watch sci-fi like Star Trek, The Expanse, Iron Man, and how they interact with the AI. They're able to ask complex questions to a computer that is able to interpret it- like audio SQL calls in conversational form.

Or the most popular application would be AI to help people feel less lonely or make their lives easier like in the movie Her or the book Ready Player One.

mosselmanonJuly 25, 2018

"I think most people don’t want this 1984 vision of the future, where everyone is geared up 16 hours a day."

I assume the author means the book '1984' by George Orwell and I come to the conclusion that the author has never read the book and does not know what it is about. Not every dystopian story is 1984. A far more logical reference would have been to 'Ready Player One' by Ernest Cline which is in fact about a dystopia in which people _are_ 'geared up' all the time.

I recommend both books, the first is a work of genius and is, sadly, very relevant today and the second because it is very entertaining and might offer insights into the development of VR in the near future.

theologiconDec 24, 2015

Got a new job in May so slowed me down, but got through around 8 this year.

I'm a Lencioni fan:

Death by Meeting -- Describes 3 types of meetings

Getting Naked -- Describes how to consult

I'm also a Marshall Goldsmith fan:

What Got You Here Won't Get You There - Once you get beyond a Director level with some mistakes, read this book

Mojo, How to Get It, How To Keep It - Another "look yourself in the mirror" book


21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership - John Maxwell. A little prod to act more like a leader.

Ready Player One -- Ernest Cline, Great Young Adult Book. Escapist fantasy.

Every Shot Counts -- Mark Broady, Statistical Look At Golf, but has some smell of Kahnemann

To Kill A Mockingbird -- Timeless Classic I Never Got To. Loved Atticus. I won't read a Watchman if it spoils my view of what Atticus was all about.

Started But Not Finished:

Business Dynamics Thinking -- Sterman (out of MIT). I need to take off work to read this 'cause it is so massive. Basically it is control theory applied to business modelling. However, I am convinced if somebody can apply these models, it really is the best competitive advantage. However, too people willing to stick with it.

How to Measure Anything -- Douglas Hubbard. Sort of makes me mad because it is so commonsense, yet most businesses don't apply this commonsense approach.

unpythoniconSep 5, 2017

I used to commute in silence or listening to the radio for my daily Silicon Valley drive (237 Milpitas to Mountain View), and by the time I got to work, I'd be angry, frustrated, and cognitively spent.

Listening to audio books has allowed me to relax, enjoy the reading, and get to work excited about the day.

I treat the time as a chance to "read" those books which I wouldn't normally spend either my work hours nor my free time hours on. It's a chance to get informed on topics that are only slightly related to work, but expand your mind in ways that will make you a better thinker, and thus a better programmer.

The books I've found particularly good on audio are:

* Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

* Thinking, Fast and Slow

* How Not to be Wrong

* Ready Player One

* Neuromancer

slickrick216onDec 28, 2019

The Troy rising trilogy by John Ringo. An excellent military science fiction book with a Libertarian lean. My favourite is the first in the trilogy called live free or die. Basically tells the story of how to bootstrap a whole world. Pays homage to a lot of other science fiction. If you complete this trilogy and are left wanting more then I suggest the legacy of the Aldenata and the black tide rising series.

American nations by Colin Woodward. Great book to understand the historical underpinnings of different regions in America.

Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (who wrote Hyperion). Great horror scifi book with a nice concept. Fairly long though.

Thwarting enemies at home and abroad by William R Johnson. If you like spy novels or it’s text book albeit somewhat dated now likely on counter espionage.

On technical books I read the Linux programming interface by Michael Kerrisk. Really interesting incredibly detailed Linux book and always a great reference. Find myself keeping going back to it.

Ready player one the book by Ernest Cline. Way different than the movie. I actually preferred it as the movie justifiability leaves a lot out and condenses the story.

sethammonsonJan 1, 2020

I read all of The Expanse. Fun series that takes place after we've colonized the solar system with infighting between Earth, Mars, and those who live out past the belt, when suddenly an alien artifact shows up.

Influx (a large secret govt. sect suppressing technology breakthroughs and keeping it for themselves) and Kill Decision (autonomous killing drones) by Daniel Suarez were fun. I liked Deamon (a murder mystery of sorts where the murderer is already dead and automated scripts and whatnot carry out the deeds) and Freedom (part 2) better however.

Beyond what I've read this year in Sci-Fi, I would recommend the Hyperion saga (my vote for best sci-fi ever), The Martian, Ready Player One, Snapshot (a short by Brandon Sanderson, my favorite author by a wide margin), and, heck, while we are at it, the whole of the Enderverse, though I preferred Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind the most).

It has been said that the difference between sci-fi and fantasy is spaceships vs trees. If you are looking for fun fantasy, I suggest just about anything from Brandon Sanderson. He has his Cosmere universe composed of many book series, the best of which are the Stormlight Archives.

alawrenceonDec 22, 2016

The War of Art - Steven Pressfield (unsure how I felt about this one, but it's short so worth a read)

Deep Work - Cal Newport (recommended)

Stumbling on Happiness - Daniel Gilbert (recommended)

Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals - Heidi Grant-Halvorson (lots of great stuff in here, highly recommended)

The Autobiography of Malcolm X - Alex Haley (I really like biographies and Malcolm X was a pretty interesting person. recommended)

Making It in Real Estate: Starting Out as a Developer - John McNellis (meh)

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline (I'm not big on sci-fi, so this book surprised me with how good it was. recommended)

Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl (I'm not sure how much I got out of it, but worth it just for learning about Frankl's unique experiences and perspectives. recommended)

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (meh)

Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture - David Kushner (One of those books that makes you want to lock yourself in a room and program for hours. Carmack's dedication and intellect is especially awe-inspiring. recommended)

lucb1eonDec 23, 2020

While serving more ads! I remember reading in Ready Player One about IOI controlling most people's internet connections and mentally drawing a parallel to Google at the time, thinking that would be a huge monopoly if Google not only served the online services, the laptop hardware, the laptop software, and now also the uplink itself. And indeed, a few months after I read the book, they announced the fiber project. Then Google and Facebook were going to give people in Africa internet with balloons and stuff. Now we can add this initiative.

It's really getting there: ISPs are shifting from a specialized business (they may do TV, web hosting, etc. as well, but it's always related services together) to something that comes bundled with your favorite ad service. They have the money to outcompete any existing ISP they like, so long as they somehow manage to dodge anti-anticompetition laws they can really give the non-ad-supported services a tough time. Ads is were we're headed, it would seem.

52-6F-62onNov 10, 2017

I'm currently reading Cryptonomicon because of somebody's recommendation on here. I'm not very deep in just yet, but I'd already recommend it.[0]

Also, the movie for Ready Player One is coming out and the book is alright, too. Though it's a little heavy on the hipster/nostalgic wankery, it's still a good story. Kept me reading. It's also an interesting take on overpopulation, class divides, and the future role of VR. Steven Spielberg is directing the movie, so I'm kind of looking forward to seeing it.[1][2]

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptonomicon

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ready_Player_One

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ready_Player_One_(film)

chrisweeklyonOct 11, 2014

PSA: for contemporary, entertaining, thought-provoking novels relating to sci-fi, my short list of must-reads includes these gems:

* The Gone-Away World (Harkaway) [1]

* Ready Player One (Cline) [2] and

* The Martian (Weir) [3]

each of which is impossible to put down. Actually Harkaway's entire oevre is terrific. The steampunk Angelmaker [4] was a ton of fun.

Also, many of Iain M Banks' Culture novels (The Player of Games [5] is at the top of my personal list; they can be read in any order) and The Wind-up Girl (Bacigalupi) [6] are must-reads too.

This is not meant as criticism of the OP, rather as fodder for commenters referencing other longer and more contemporary lists.

Oh and a final, related tangent: if, like me, you really enjoy G.R.R. Martin but generally avoid straight-up fantasy [it seems to me the genre is awash in mediocre Tolkien rip-offs] please give The Name of the Wind (Rothfuss) [7] a chance. You'll be glad you did. :)

[1] http://smile.amazon.com/Gone-Away-World-Nick-Harkaway-ebook/...

[2] http://smile.amazon.com/Ready-Player-One-Ernest-Cline-ebook/...

[3] http://smile.amazon.com/Martian-Novel-Andy-Weir-ebook/dp/B00...

[4] http://smile.amazon.com/Angelmaker-Nick-Harkaway-ebook/dp/B0...

[5] http://smile.amazon.com/Player-Games-Culture-Novel-Book-eboo...

[6] http://smile.amazon.com/Windup-Girl-Paolo-Bacigalupi-ebook/d...

[7] http://smile.amazon.com/Name-Wind-Kingkiller-Chronicle-Day-e...

acjonDec 23, 2015

"Chasing the Scream" - a timely and interesting summary of the war on drugs and its (in)effectiveness.

"Mr. Bloomfield's Orchard" - a fun book about fungi from a mycologist with a solid sense of humor.

"On the Move" - Oliver Sacks's biography. Insightful and uplifting, especially if you enjoy writing.

"Ready Player One" - a dystopian cyber thriller. Reminded me of Snow Crash. Good stuff.

"The Last Place on Earth" - a good (if labored) summary of the races to the north and south poles and their geopolitical impacts.

"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" - been on my list for years. Long but good.

"Steve Jobs" - needs no introduction. Got me interested in Isaacson's other books.

"Hallucinations" (Oliver Sacks) - insightful analysis of the prevalence and for-reaching effects of hallucination. It's a lot more common (and puzzling) than most of us realize.

iN7h33nDonApr 9, 2015

Audiobooks I have Read Recently: (Sanderson is Awesome)

  * The Reckoners #1/#2
* Stormlight Archive #1/#2
* Mistborn #1/#2/#3
* Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures As the World's Most Wanted Hacker

Digital Books:

  * How to Win Friends and Influence People
* Malazon Book #1
* The Forever War
* The Martian

Things on my List:

  * Think and Grow Rich
* Watership Down
* Rainbows End
* Snow Crash
* What is Zen
* Wool: Silo
* Founders at Work
* Light Bringer
* Hyperion
* The War of Art
* Atlas Shrugged
* The Demon Haunted World
* Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software
* Joe Abercrombie's books
* Rich Dad Poor Dad
* Founders at Work
* Fear the Sky
* Daemon -- EDIT ADDED

Things I recommend:

  * All of Brandon Sanderson's Books
* The Kingkiller Chronicles
* How to Win Friends and Influence People
* Issac Asimov's short stories and Foundation series
* The Forever War
* Gentleman Bastards
* Ready Player One
* The Martian
* A Wizard of Earthsea

Short Reading I Recommend:

  * http://www.multivax.com/last_question.html

ecoonJan 26, 2016

I didn't like Wil Wheaton's reading of Ready Player One either. The main character came off as, I don't know, whiney I guess. I have nothing against Wil Wheaton himself. The reading just didn't do it for me.

Masters of Doom is a great book though. I read it a couple years back. I recommend picking up a copy if the audiobook isn't working out.

schlagetownonJuly 27, 2016

Aiming for ~ a book a week, and have been holding steady around that mark for around the past 3 years (avg. 50 books / year). I got through Ready Player One in a weekend when I had nothing else to do, but it took me a good couple months to get through Infinite Jest this year…try to balance it out with a good mix of fiction / nonfiction and easy / hard books. I waste plenty of time online, too, but average something in the ballpark of an hour / day of book-reading.

falcolasonAug 13, 2017

'Ready Player One' is 80's nostalgia porn. It was obvious from very early on in the book, and if you read more than a few chapters in the book and expected more, well, you would indeed be disappointed.

Knowing that the book is 80's nostalgia porn, and that this is what made it so popular, I would be disappointed to get anything else out of the movie. I don't want to get an in-depth story about lessons learned from using media to escape from pain... I want to watch a DeLorian race Akira's motorcycle while Voltron and Godzilla duke it out in the background.

brianpgordononDec 27, 2017

No, I just cobbled that together from other SF I've read. If you want more of that, try:

- Permutation City by Greg Egan (Imagine a world where everyone's consciousness has been uploaded to computers.)

- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (People play sports, knit sweaters, whatever- all in virtual reality.) Note: this book is corny as hell and borderline YA but still fun

- Blindsight by Peter Watts (You spend more and more time playing alone or tittering with a circle of sycophantic AIs. ... squeezed out by increasing scarcity of computing resources)

- https://www.sbnation.com/a/17776-football (Over time people decide to pass on by ritualistically committing data-suicide) Just for the impact of functional immortality on common people

alanfalcononMar 31, 2012

I've been obsessing a little bit over Ready Player One over the past couple weeks. Not that it is an amazing piece of literature, it surely is not that. But it is highly entertaining and an incredible work of meta fiction. It is a fiction about a fictional world in which essentially all other fictional worlds co-exist, and they all celebrate each other. I would recommend it to anybody at all without reservation (if you don't read speculative fiction you'll just ignore my recommendation anyway, even though I think this book would have the power to open some doors to you).

I have not read Kurt Vonnegut, but was intrigued by the specific reference to him as the main character's favorite author, a certain kind of twisted high praise in the context of the book as a whole. I have not heard much about Kurt Vonnegut beyond recognizing the name and the Ready Player One reference. But reading this letter, and with the added bonus of the implied recommendation from Ernest Cline, I've heard enough.

Where's the best place to start?

6stringmerconFeb 25, 2016

Okay I completely understand the concept of the post and get the sadness and humor all at the same time. In an era where attentiveness and long-form reading seems to be in distinct decline, distinctions within the marketplace losing meaning hurts. I'm sure customers will eventually adapt though...but this quote:

>I wrote this post because I’m tired of vanity titles and success without quality.

...just makes me laugh, because we're talking about an industry that most recently is probably the most guilty of "success without quality" by way of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise and all the buckets and buckets of money it made. Self-help being a juggernaut of sales year after year. Obvious derivative slop like Pride and Prejudice & Zombies and the wish-fulfillment nostalgia collage of Ready Player One aren't bringing a new enlightenment to society, practically speaking.

>I hope my story illustrates that the best marketing tactic you can use for a book is to write a great book that actually sells over the long term.

Actually, it kind of illustrates the opposite, in that "a book uploaded every five minutes" isn't a signal-to-noise ratio that really makes much of any sense. The only reason to write a quality book is vanity at this point.

The day that an entity - a startup, a publisher, a legacy firm - can figure out how to intelligently and profitably cull 'good quality' new artists from the loads and loads of self-publishing writers, musicians, or cinema/visual creators out there on their own and bring viewers is the day artists and audiences probably start meeting the monetization in the middle.

ztravisonJuly 27, 2016

I'm consistently surprised to hear people saying positive things about "Ready Player One" - to me it was one of the most hackneyed and silly books I've read in a long time. My review at the time of reading (originally for private consumption only):

Terrible modern sci-fi about easter egg MMO quest for game creator’s fortune. Childish plot/dialog, cliches everywhere (e.g. ‘L337 Hax0r Warezhouse’), absolutely atrocious, really simple puzzles. The only positive thing I can say about it is that I didn’t give up on it immediately - although I was tempted, the main plot line was at least interesting enough that I wanted to hear the end. Unfortunately the ending itself was disappointing - the final puzzle was just a rehash of the first two. My main takeaways were: I hope the ‘MMO-scifi’ subgenre is finally dead, I should wait at least 10 years for more recent sci-fi to go through quality assurance, and that it seems like based on this, anyone with a half-baked idea and enough pop-culture-nerd knowledge to sprinkle throughout 300 or so pages should be able to write a best-seller. Meanwhile, the politics/worldview it espouses is basically boingboing distilled - big corporation bad, internet is free, knowledge is free, american culture and society is dead, cyber-elite should run world, pop-media is simultaneously in control of world and source of inspiration and true creativity.

umjamesonApr 11, 2018

Not just video game movies, but also movies based on books about video games.

Having read Ready Player One and then seeing the movie, it's like they didn't even try to capture what made the book successful. The book had clues that were hard for the characters to figure out, but in the movie, it was basically trivial for them.

They should have done 3 movies, each one focusing on obtaining a single key and opening its respective gate. It would have left plenty of room for character development and the underlying love story that are in the book. They could have been Netflix movies too.

jaymononDec 24, 2016

I'll second someone else's recommendation for The Martian, that was just a really fun read you can just burn through because it is so enjoyable.

If you want another really fun read, Ready Player One was fantastic.

I've also enjoyed the Old Man's War saga, there are 6 books but you can skip book 4 since it is a retelling of book 3 from the POV of another character. This is a space saga and I really like the universe he created.

In the hard sci-fi genre, I really enjoyed The Forever War.

And for just pure world building fantasy, the Game of Thrones books (The song of Ice and Fire series) are some of the best written books I've ever read.

lucb1eonFeb 5, 2014

Well my response to Google Fiber is somewhat triggered by a book called Ready Player One, in which a big company (with some similarities to Google) controls lots of things online, including many consumer's connections to the internet. They then of course abuse this, and it would be incredibly easy for Google to do the same and invade our privacy further.

So my point is, if it wasn't clear already, privacy invasion. As I mentioned, they are like any other for-profit company and not interested in doing what's best for consumers. Their goal of making other ISPs provide better service sounds so noble, but I doubt it.

fmax30onDec 23, 2015

I had read zero books by April 2015.
Have read the following since then.

1. 1984 by Orwell

2. Animal Farm by Orwell

3. 40 Rules of Love by Elif Shafak

4. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

5. The Man in the high castle by Philip k Dic

6. Tuesdays with morrie by Mitch Albom

7. Broken Verses by Kamila Shamsie

8. The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell

9. Veronica Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

10. The Little Prince by antoine saint exupery

11. A Monster calls by Patrick ness

Books that I am currently reading very very slowly ( 1-3 chapters per week )

1. The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking

2. The Wind Up Bird Chronicles by Murakami (I am really enjoying the slow reading here)

3. Zen and art of motorcycle by Robert Pirsig

Edit: Formatting

petefordeonJan 5, 2020

So, it's been more than half of your sentient life since you tried reading a book that was written 200 years ago... and you're prepared to write off all of fiction as a waste of time? I am begging you to see if perhaps you might have a better experience today with a more contemporary book that frankly isn't kind of dull.

I urge you to try audiobooks. There still exists a stigma that it's not "real" reading, but that is like discussion of "real" men - absurd. Audiobooks are a joy.

My personal favourite is Cryptonomicon by Neil Stephenson, but heck, Ready Player One, Recursion, Delta-V, Walkaway by Cory Doctorow... just give it a shot.

freehunteronMar 27, 2015

I've never read Ready Player One, and there's a reason for that: people compare it to Snow Crash and I found Snow Crash to be entirely insufferable. I cannot stand that book. The worst part is that the main character is named Hiro Protagonist. The book just tries to be too cool.

Maybe the problem is that it was written in 1992 and so much has been inspired by it that now the book seems tired and cliche. But if you're recommending it to a 14 year old, they're already going to be familiar with some of the works that have been inspired by Snow Crash, and they will likely find it as insufferable as well.

And isn't Ready Player One heavy into the 80's pop culture? A 14 year old was born in 2001... they don't know what the 80's means.

spywaregorillaonAug 12, 2021

I really want to gripe about "Ernest Cline's" Ready Player One. There was an element of dystopia to it, yes, but it was only the movie adaptation that came away with the takeaway that the virtual world was bad. In the movie they decide to add in the protagonist making the executive decision to shut down the virtual world on a couple weekdays or something. That pissed me off. That world was people's livelihoods. This kid lived in a poor junky slum and had a great social life and presumably some level of income in the virtual world when the movie starts. At the end of the movie he is super rich and has a hot girlfriend (who's character arc was largely that she perceived herself as ugly?). There's really not that much in the film or the book that says that forcing people to go unplugged made any sense.

The actual book was about a virtual world gone extremely right. The dystopian part was the corporations that sought private control of the platform.

Bonus complaint: The evil corporation in the film literally enslaves people and brazenly murders others in public, yet it's CEO is brought down by some unremarkable local cops? What?

StratoscopeonMar 6, 2015

Greg, was it you who recommended Ready Player One to me? Looks like I already bought it on my Kindle on $MYSTERYPERSON's recommendation, so now I'd better read it!

Here's an odd one of mine:

The Trachtenberg Speed System of Basic Mathematics

I checked this out from the Scottsdale library when I was 11. I'd learned all the usual algorithms to multiply and divide and do basic arithmetic, but like most kids, I assumed that those were the only ways to do those things - that the steps we learned were truly fundamental and the one and only way to get the result.

Then I read Trachtenberg and learned that there were other procedures you could use to get the very same results. The techniques we'd learned were not the only ones!

Oh, there were tradeoffs - you might have to remember more stuff and more special cases - but once you had those down you could zip right through a calculation that would have taken a long time otherwise.

So that's how I learned that there was more than one way to do it.

InsanityonJuly 13, 2018

Some books that I recently read and enjoyed:

a) Sapiens (Yuval Noah Harari)
b) Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon (Kim Zetter)
c) Hackers: Heroes of the computer revolution (Steven Levy)
d) Masters of Doom (David Kushner)

e) The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Leo Tolstoy)
f) Ready Player One (Ernest Cline)

spudlyoonOct 11, 2014

It's interesting how opinions about Ready Player One can be so polarized. As someone who spent their formative years living through the 80s, this book was a non-stop cringe-fest of embarrassment for me, made even worse by Wil Wheaton's over-the-top voice acting.

While I did quite enjoy the author's vision of futuristic VR, all the 80s camp and nostalgia ruined it for me.

ChuckMcMonApr 12, 2018

I am one of those people who can enjoy a video game inspired movie, but only if I've played the game. I believe that is because the movie reminds me of game play that I enjoyed so it gets that extra bonus feeling. If I haven't played the game the movie is definitely less engaging. This can be true for movies adapted from books like the Lord of the Rings, I enjoyed reading the books and the movie reminded me of that enjoyment.

But given that, it seems it can go the other way as well. I saw Ready Player One (and have read the book) and the differences between the book and the movie, while understandable, interfered with me enjoying the movie.

There are also fairly formulaic movies that unroll just like a video game. With early levels, a mini boss, more levels, another boss, a few more levels and then the big boss. Watching Kong skull island was like that.

acabrahamsonJuly 11, 2016

1. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

2. One L by Scott Turow

3. The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu

4. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

5. Believer: My Forty Years in Politics by David Axelrod

6. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

7. Augustus: First Emperor of Rome by Adrian Goldsworthy

8. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (re-read)

9. I, Claudius by Robert Graves

10. Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks

11. The Fear Index by Robert Harris

12. Red Dragon by Thomas Harris (re-read)

13. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris (re-read)

14. Hannibal by Thomas Harris (re-read)

15. Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin (re-read)

16. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (re-read)

17. Claudius the God by Robert Graves

Re-reads take hardly any time at all, so I'm not sure whether to count them. If you're not, then 11 books read so far.

ehntoonSep 3, 2018

I don't think it's a technology issue. Remote work has been possible for years. Many people just don't want to work from home, for a whole myriad of reasons. Likewise, if I am feeling lonely the last thing I want is to confront a dystopian reality of telecommunications being my best option because I live in the sticks and society has forgotten about me.

I know it may be a bit tropey but Ready Player One book did a great job of portraying how something like that could destroy what it is to feel part of a community in the real world. Even if you step outside of your little comms den for the day, no one else has and there is no one to talk to.

It happens now with social media. People spend all day clicking about, then they stop and take a moment to realise none of it actually happened, it's just text and daydreams, and they are alone in their house again.

bayindirhonApr 8, 2018

First of all read a lot. Read local communities like Reddit, HN (here), slashdot, etc. This will make you familiar with the daily language.

Second, listen a lot. Watch movies with original sound and English subtitles. Try to understand, try to make sense of it. If you listen English songs, try to listen a little more attentive.

Then write a lot. Try to take your notes in English. Comment your code in English. Try to comment more into stories or forums around the world.

These three will sharpen you in daily English. You'll become more familiar. Becoming fluent becomes after becoming familiar. As everyone said, also read books, novels in English and take notes, however some books' vocabulary may be drastically different from others (e.g., Both Hyperion Cantos and Ready Player One are SciFi novels, but latter one has a much more accessible English than the former).

Last but not the least, don't focus on your progress. You'll advance inevitably. Just continue doing so, and you'll find yourself much more improved after some time. Fluency is best when it comes with time, and when it's built step by step, it becomes permanent.

brudgersonJuly 27, 2016

When I read for light entertainment, [that's how I read Ready Player One] it's roughly a replacement for watching movies/TV. It gets chunked into multi-hour sessions over two or three or so nights. If the book doesn't motivate me to read at least 100 or so pages the first and second evening, odds are I won't finish it. I used to worry about not finishing books, now I don't.

On the other hand, recently I have started rereading a few books by some favorite authors and those I have read slowly. Not everything is worth savoring or caring about much beyond the general idea.

Reading is habits and my habits around reading for several hours formed when I was a child. On the other hand, my beloved only really started reading for fun after we were living together and its taken a couple of decades to get to reading several books at once or sometimes finishing books in a few days.

iambenonMay 12, 2017

Having just finished "Ready Player One" (Ernest Cline, recommended), I think the 'if you build it' approach may work here.

If the virtual world essentially becomes where you go for TV / film / music (which isn't impossible, when you look at how we're starting to consume) and where you chat whilst getting to be the version of yourself you really want to be, or using it for an escapist 'coworking space', or whatever else - I could see it having some future.

It would probably encourage interest if the inequality gap broadened and people struggled with terrible living conditions, or a more dystopian world, and looked for escapism.

All big ifs, of course...

AnimatsonMay 3, 2017

Somebody at YC likes "Ready Player One", which is a stupid book. (Essential skill for taking over a big company: ability to play a perfect game of PacMan.) "Snow Crash" was ahead of its time. Yet the plot of Snow Crash would play out the same if everybody simply had modern phones.

Where's the killer app for VR? VR headsets have been around for years. The current generation of technology works adequately. Yet other than first person shooters, there's not much to do in there. You can plug into Second Life or High Fidelity with a VR headset, but few people do. Using a VR headset to simulate a screen so you can watch a movie is more trouble than it's worth.

rgloveronOct 24, 2014

Stuff like this makes me think about how we'll live in the future. I read the book Ready Player One last year (fun fiction read) and the story is set in a world where most people live inside of a virtual world accessed via VR headsets/suits (e.g. Occulus Rift).

Seeing this makes me think of a future when we'll be doing the same and instead of looking at this in a browser, we'll actually be able to stand under a tree and watch the leaves fall.

kazarnowiczonJan 31, 2020

I tried this when reading Ready Player One (I counted to eight in my head to stop vocalizing). I did read it much faster (in fact, faster than my partner who is a native English speaker/reader). I cannot vouch for how much I remember of the book though. I think it's less, because I remember watching the movie thinking "oh, right, that's what happened" about a major plot part. That's never happened with other books that I first read, then watched the movie/series adaptation of.

djsumdogonAug 31, 2019

I read on my phone/tablet these days. I backpacked around for 11 months straight once and having physical books and keeping notes was difficult. I use to just buy books from Google/Amazon/B&N, but these days I'll usually just buy some merch from an author or support their podcast (if they have one) and pirate the book because I hate vendor lock-in.

I usually try to switch back and fourth between fiction and non-fiction. I'll read two or three fictional novels and then maybe some non-fiction. I'm not a huge fan of non-fiction. A lot of them they draw out a 100 page book into a 300 page extended essay because that's what publishers want to sell books at the current market prices. I'd rather they sell 150 page non-fiction if they could get the same point across. (Sam Harris brought this up when he self published the short book: Islam and the Future of Tolerance, which is on my list).

I think at one time I might have switched between two books throughout my reading, but today I usually read one all the way through.

I do want to read more. Here's what I finished last year:

Books 2018:

  Cibola Burn

Nemesis Games

The Dictator's Handbook

The Mythical Man Month

Ready Player One

The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

and 2019 so far:

  The Fountainhead

Wrinkle in Time

The Men who Stare at Goats

The Coddling of the American Mind

Babylon's Ashes

The Strange Death of Europe

Persepolis Rising

deeviantonJune 21, 2021

Of course, I think I can help.

What is trying to be communicated here is psychographic content will be delivered via standard device substrates existing in well aligned usage patterns that will no doubt delight the end-user with value. Metaverse here simply means they will deliver an experience that is parallel to user expectation yet orthogonal to the digital representation of the physical model of the prevailing social zeitgeist.

Or maybe someone just read Ready Player One recently, and is just thinking: We're going to build the Oasis but nobody could possibility understand what that is, I'll have to break it down into easy-to-misunderstand corpobabble.

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